Hamutal: Bible

by Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch

Hamutal was the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah, the consort of Josiah, king of Judah from 639 to 609 b.c.e., and the mother of two Judean kings, Jehoahaz and Zedekiah. Since most Judean regnal formulas include the name of the king’s mother and several of these women appear to wield considerable influence in political and cultic matters, the queen mother may have served as an official functionary of the royal court. Alternatively, Ben-Barak suggests that the activities of the more prominent queen mothers do not represent official roles. Rather, their prominence may be the result of personal influence earned by individual women who successfully garnered the support necessary to advance a younger son ahead of an older sibling in the royal succession.

Hamutal’s son Jehoahaz, for example, becomes king with the support of the people of the land, although he has an elder half brother (1 Kgs 23:30–36). This group of landed aristocracy is involved in succession only when the rising queen mother originates from the outlying provinces of Judah.

Presumably, the loyalties of Hamutal of Libnah and of her son would rest outside Jerusalem. Hamutal apparently does not accompany Jehoahaz when he is exiled by Necho of Egypt, because she later serves as queen mother under another son, Zedekiah (2 Kgs 24:18; Jer 52:1). Ezekiel’s lamentation on the mother (Ezekiel 19) may be interpreted as a reference to Hamutal’s involvement in her sons’ reigns. Likewise, Jeremiah’s joint criticism of the king and the queen mother (Jer 13:18) may refer to Zedekiah and Hamutal and indicate their shared authority.


Ackerman, Susan. “The Queen Mother and the Cult in Ancient Israel.” Journal of Biblical Literature 112 (1993) 385–401.

Berlyn, P. J. “The Great Ladies.” Jewish Bible Quarterly 24 (1996): 26–35.

Ben-Barak, Zafrira. “The Status and Right of the Gebira.” Journal of Biblical Literature 110 (1991): 23–34.

Meyers, Carol, General Editor. Women in Scripture. New York: 2000.


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God told Jeremiah not to marry. Jeremiah 16:1-4. Assuming Jeremiah’s obedience Hamutal could not have been his daughter.

So it was a different jeremiah that hamutal was the dughter of then? Thanks we were curious as well. Came up in our devotional on saturday.

My question is: Was Hamutal the daughter of the prophet Jeremiah?

In reply to by Al Gee Brah

Jeremiah was from Anatoth, not Libnah, and his first prophecy is introduced in Jer 1 as coming in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah-- wherein Jeremiah claims to be a teenager himself (na`ar anokhi in Jer 1:6). He certainly hadn't fathered a queen mother by that time. Josiah, for his part, was probably only a few years older than Jeremiah, since he ascended the throne at age eight.

How to cite this page

Burnette-Bletsch, Rhonda. "Hamutal: Bible." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 27 February 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on March 8, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/hamutal-bible>.


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